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While you were sleeping: Trump rallies stocks

Friday 10th February 2017

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Wall Street climbed, sending the three US benchmark stock indexes to fresh record highs, as President Donald Trump said he would soon make an announcement “that will be phenomenal in terms of tax.”

“We’re going to be announcing something, I would say, over the next two or three weeks that will be phenomenal in terms of tax,” Trump said in a meeting with airline executives, according to media reports.

In 1.27pm trading in New York, the Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 0.7 percent, while the Nasdaq Composite Index added 0.6 percent. In 1.12pm trading, the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index also increased 0.6 percent.

The Dow hit a record 20,197.95, while the S&P 500 touched a record 2,309.63 and the Nasdaq reached a record 5,722.71.

The US dollar also strengthened.

US Treasuries slid, pushing yields on the 10-year note five basis points to 2.38 percent.

“Lowering the overall tax burden on American business is big league,” Trump said, according to Reuters.

Airline stocks rose, as Trump promised to ease industry regulations. Shares of American Airlines traded 3 percent higher as of 1.45pm in New York, while shares of Delta Air Lines gained 2.6 percent.

Gains in shares of Nike and those of Goldman Sachs, which recently traded 3 percent and 2.2 percent higher respectively, led the Dow higher. 

Kellogg was among the latest companies beating earnings estimates. Shares of Kellogg rose after the breakfast cereal maker posted a quarterly profit that bettered analysts’ expectations and said it plans to expand its Project K cost-cutting program. 

Shares of Kellogg climbed, trading 4 percent higher as of 12.19pm in New York.

Bucking the trend, and the only two stocks in the Dow declining in early afternoon trading, were Coca-Cola and Intel, down 2.4 percent and 1.4 percent respectively.

Coca-Cola posted results and an outlook that disappointed investors.

Meanwhile, the latest US jobs data offered fresh signs of strength. A Labour Department report showed that initial claims for state unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 234,000 for the week ended February 4. 

"There is no sign of a pickup in layoff activity," John Ryding, chief economist at RDQ Economics in New York, told Reuters. "We continue to view the signal of extremely subdued layoffs from the jobless claims data as evidence of companies attempting to retain their workers in a tight labour market."

In Europe, the Stoxx 600 Index ended the session with a 0.8 percent increase from the previous close, bolstered by gains in bank shares as France’s Societe Generale posted better-than-expected earnings. 

The UK’s FTSE 100 Index added 0.6 percent, Germany’s DAX Index gained 0.9 percent, while France’s CAC 40 Index rallied 1.3 percent.

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